4K multicam Video editing... can the iMac 5k 2017 handle it?

iMac 5k 2017 or wait for iMac pro even though it will be 55% more expensive?

  • iMac 5k 2017 top spec

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • iMac pro base spec

    Votes: 2 33.3%

  • Total voters
    6

Rasta4i

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
129
14
London
I need a desktop Mac for video editing in FCPX I currently have 2016 MacBook Pro, we are starting a photography and videography company that handles the production as well.

We will be working with a few cameras that record in 4k, Panasonic gh5 (4k 60fps) two of those plus another Panasonic g80/g85 (4K 30fps) plus a dji mavic pro which is also 4k at 30 fps. There will also be various other cameras used to get certain shots like maybe gopro hero 6 or something else that records in 4k very well and is small.

We will be working on projects constantly so my worry is can the top of the line iMac 2017 handle that, ideally we were planning to wait for the iMac pro but the price doesn't sit well with us in terms of cashflow because of the price so we were thinking make the 2017 iMac 5k the maybe computer until the new Mac Pro comes out.

I also plan to get deep into the grading and effects side of things, we already have a few effects that take a good amount of time to render on 2016 MacBook Pro.


So my question to all of you is do you think that system would be capable of editing all of that in FCPX without constantly slowdowns and frustrations? also once the Mac Pro comes in this system will still be used by someone in the company for video editing
 
Last edited:

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
It will do it of course that's pretty much what its designed for, how quickly will of course depend on the effects etc. The Imac pro will of course deal with it all a lot better and as this is a business may be a better long term investment
 

Rasta4i

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
129
14
London
It will do it of course that's pretty much what its designed for, how quickly will of course depend on the effects etc. The Imac pro will of course deal with it all a lot better and as this is a business may be a better long term investment
I agree longterm it would definitely be better to get the pro only thing is it would make the next 12 months much harder, this time next year we should be able to easily get what we want but we need to get to that point without feeling like the iMac is struggling to keep up with our plans
 

joema2

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2013
1,579
787
I need a desktop Mac for video editing in FCPX I currently have 2016 MacBook Pro, we are starting a photography and videography company that handles the production as well.

We will be working with a few cameras that record in 4k, Panasonic gh5 (4k 60fps) two of those plus another Panasonic g80/g85 (4K 30fps) plus a dji mavic pro which is also 4k at 30 fps. There will also be various other cameras used to get certain shots like maybe gopro hero 6 or something else that records in 4k very well and is small.

We will be working on projects constantly so my worry is can the top of the line iMac 2017 handle that, ideally we were planning to wait for the iMac pro but the price doesn't sit well with us in terms of cashflow because of the price so we were thinking make the 2017 iMac 5k the maybe computer until the new Mac Pro comes out.

I also plan to get deep into the grading and effects side of things, we already have a few effects that take a good amount of time to render on 2016 MacBook Pro....
I edit a lot of H264 4k content from the GH5 and other cameras in FCPX. The top-spec 2017 iMac 27 is the fastest Mac you can currently use for this. It transcodes to proxy 2x faster than the 2015 top-spec iMac 27 and about 3.5x faster than a 12-core D700 Mac Pro. However the 2016 top-spec MBP (which I also have) is pretty fast so the 2017 iMac is "only" about 30% faster on proxy transcoding.

However on the GPU-intensive FCPX BruceX benchmark the 2017 iMac is about 2x faster than the 2016 MBP. On Neat Video noise reduction the iMac is about 40% faster.

In general the top-spec 2017 iMac 27 is the only Mac fast enough to edit modest amounts of H264 4k without proxy. Multicam projects will still require proxy. But some H264 codecs are much more difficult such as the 10-bit 4k codecs from the GH5. Those currently require transcoding to proxy or optimized media even for single-camera projects. In general I'd recommend not using those right now.

In theory the Vega 64 10-core iMac Pro might be about 1.8x faster on CPU and maybe about 2x faster on GPU but nobody really knows. The big unknown is Xeon normally does not have Quick Sync so unless Apple got Intel to do a highly customized Xeon or unless they rewrite FCPX to use AMD's Video Coding Engine, it might actually be slower on H264 encode/decode than the top iMac 27. We will have to wait and see.
 
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